Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Man Who Shot Clint Eastwood

The Man Who Shot Clint Eastwood

It was Friday. Ziploc was in the toilet updating himself whilst listening to The Girl From Ipanema on headphones. He dropped out several times during the process and each time he awoke, startled. It was called Electronic Neural Convulsion. The Girl From Ipanema could do that, or maybe it was because he had it playing on REPEAT: “Tall and tan and young and lovely, The girl from Ipanema goes walking and when she passes, each one she passes goes `ah'…
All just a normal day in South Vietnam. Problem is this wasn't South Vietnam, this was downtown Los Angeles, 2092.
Ziploc looked out the window down below, the world still sure was a fucking dangerous, crazy place. Regarding those updates he’d bought, usually he wouldn't consider such ostentation but these were supposed to help his phobias and allergies - all this technology was trying to make the world a better place. Let’s see, he had a phobia of the Hollywood movie star, Clint Eastwood, a fear of unreasonableness and a fear of divorce, which Ziploc was, divorced. Apparently many years ago not many people got divorced and when they did the news spread slowly - amongst friends, colleagues and socially even more distant acquaintances. It was hardly mentioned, only whispered about behind their backs. Nowadays it was practically a social rite of passage. People would say things like, "You won't believe what I did - remember that girl I married last week? Well, I divorced her yesterday.”
A technology must exist that made relationships stable, that provided for longevity - surely? It had fixed just about everything else (although, despite all the advances, Athletes Foot was still around, notwithstanding the very big money that business invested in all the advertising and constant research technology had been unable to cure that for some reason).
Suddenly his phobia of Clint Eastwood reappeared. Goddammit! Clearly the technology was malfunctioning, it must be the wires - he should sue. He decided to have panic attacks to add to the drama and hid himself in a cupboard for a while which is really where he spent most of any given Friday, just in case Clint Eastwood was in the apartment (just so you’re aware, thanks to the Infinity Technology range of products Clint was still alive, still directing, still making movies even though he was 162 now and would still be for the foreseeable future as long as he kept his Infinity Technology subscription and license current). So conceivably it was not impossible Clint Eastwood could be in the apartment.
Yesterday Ziploc’s neighbour, Wilfred Large, had introduce him to his new girlfriend, a cyborg model number 771 - her name was Flora.
“It is so good to meet you, human. I am 26, are you 26?” she’d said. She was very pretty, with dual functionality she could double as a Karaoke machine when Wilfred had people over. So while the world had changed the mass appeal for sex, Karaoke and Clint Eastwood movies had remained in high demand. In the dark cupboard Ziploc thought: People are fucking electronically, going with robots - what is wrong with society? But no cure for Athletes Foot? He was still thinking about this when a voice (from within the cupboard) suddenly said: “You feeling lucky, punk?” Holy Jesus! It was Clint! He’d recognise that intolerant, violence-loaded whisper anywhere! “I guess you’re wondering how I found you in a city of 90 million different people and 90 million different phobias and only one with a phobia of me? You like to take a guess? Well it wasn’t luck,” Clint said. Ziploc could see that skewed, smoky movie-star grin of Clint’s regarding him.
“Was it my mother?” he asked Clint.
Clint Eastwood nodded. “It was your mother, and a little bit of technology. I figured a big sissy girl like you would still be living with their mommy but here you are, in the big city - you even got yourself your own cupboard to hide in.” Ziploc screamed and passed out. When he came to he was still in the cupboard. Maybe it had just been a dream, some sensory overload from the updates? It happened occasionally if the downloads were unstable. “You’re probably thinking this is just a dream,” Clint said from the dark. “It’s the technology, it allows me to target people within a very narrow confine of Search Engine Optimisation. For instance yesterday I called on a guy upstate who had a left hand missing, watched Walt Disney movies and had poignant memories of Congolese Rebels - very specific. When I realised you had a phobia of me, well, I couldn’t contain myself, I just had to meet you.”
“Don't touch me, you should leave, I want to be left alone,” Ziploc cried.
“Is it me?” Clint said, grinning.
“I have a weapon, stand back! I’m armed!” Ziploc warned him. This was actually true, because of his rabid paranoia Ziploc kept a weapon of some sort on him at all times; this one he’d bought just that morning, fresh. He opened the cupboard door and light streamed in, Eastwood could see the weapon clearly in his shaking hands.
“That’s just a baguette, what you gonna do, punk, make me a sandwich?” Clint wondered dismissively.
“Not just a baguette, this is a French baguette, one of the most powerful baguettes in the world - in the words of the French Prime Minister: `In the right hands even a baguette can be a weapon,’ so I’m warning you, Mr Eastwood, don’t step any closer, this baguette’s fresh and it’s loaded!”
“Congolese rebels, best bunch of armed people I’ve ever met,” Clint said reaching out to take the baguette from Ziploc.
The baguette jumped in his hands.
Clint Eastwood fell to the floor holding his chest.
“Holy Jesus…! You shot me, asshole,” Eastwood wheezed.
Next door, Ziploc's neighbour’s sex cyborg registered the shot from the cupboard and called the police. Technology, a whole new dangerous frontier, our endless technological advancement will bring about the end of the world!